Yearly Archives 2015

Pushing Back on Despair…Via a Rant on the NRA

“After Paris,” says the lead editorial in the bi-weekly magazine that arrived in my mailbox on Thursday. The issue was put together early last week, placed in the mail by week’s end and then took a few days to make its way across the country to me from New York.

By then, it was hopelessly outdated, lacking even mention of “After Planned Parenthood” and “After San Bernardino” and “After Wherever Mass Shootings Will Occur Again Today or Tomorrow” as the United States continues on its average pace of at least one multiple murder by gun daily during 2015, though most of them have resulted in less carnage than occurred at the San Bernardino Regional Center. (Should we be thankful and express relief for that fact?)

France: not even close to keeping pace.

For my own part, I continue trying to keep a sense of historical perspective on matters of humankind’s evolution...

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Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse and Its Cover-up: A Review of “Spotlight”

“When you’re a poor kid from a poor family and a priest pays attention to you, it’s a big deal. How do you say no to God?”

That’s the trap door that thousands of children—young boys mostly, but plenty of girls, too—fell down through over only-God-knows-how-many years, centuries, even, of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, a particular historical epoch of which has been captured so stirringly in the movie Spotlight, currently in theaters.

The question posed above comes from one of the priest’s victims who operates a survivor’s support network that has long been mostly ignored by the media.

The movie follows an investigative journalism team for the Boston Globe that in 2002 pursues an appalling story of widespread sexual abuse by Boston-area priests...

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Thanksgiving Haiku

A moment of pause…

…Before gathering at your Tables of Gratitude.

(And please permit me to express my own gratitude for your engagement, your commentary, your kind words of encouragement.)

Thankfulness always,
for the watchful clouds and sky,
your fierce heart aglow.

****

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Gratitude for photographer Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/

Cirrus clouds photo by Andrew Hidas, with a serious assist from his iPhone and the heavens. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr...

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Choosing Hope Amid the Heat of Global Warming

It seems to me our wounded planet is a perfect and inevitable reflection of our own woundedness as human beings. As goes the inner, so goes the outer.

We are flawed and confused, we want conflicting things. In the developed world, we want to drive our fossil-fueled cars to the protest against fossil fuels. Even the most conscientious of us, living by the most modest means, outdo all the kings and queens of history, consuming massive amounts of natural resources compared to our ancestors and the entire third world today.

Yes, we are all part of the problem. All that messiness with Adam and Eve, banished from their perfect garden into a world of conflict, fallenness and self-destruction? That is us—the Christian myth has it exactly right.

Now: Let us all take ourselves a deep breath...

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Thoughts on Paris

It’s almost impossible not to talk about Paris, is it? The imagery so stark, the evil so dark and unmitigated. We have a sense of our world upended, our way of life and broadly agreed-upon civilizational values suddenly all a-jumble.

It doesn’t add up in any readily, rationally explainable way that people—people with legs and arms and smiles and parents and probably siblings and their own recent memories of enjoying cafe dinners with friends and loved ones—would hatch a plot to come shoot us dead. Us, whom they don’t even know, who are good people, who would be kind and gracious to them if they’d walked in with a mutual friend that night to shake our hand and make pleasant small talk before heading to their table.

But they weren’t going to any table. They had instead made their own private reservation to kill us in hot spurting blood without ever having said a word to us in this life.

We try ...

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